Kjetil Omberg • Distributor
European Distributors: Up Next! 2009 - Norway
by Annika Pham
Cineuropa: You are one of the newest companies on the distribution market in Norway. How did your adventure begin?
Kjetil Omberg: After three years with another independent distributor, I was frustrated and quite frankly fed up with a company that did not want to invest in local product. So I started searching for an investment partner that could be part of a new set-up. I found that partner in Storm Group, who helped me set up Euforia Film in 2007. Personally, my background is in film societies – I started out at the Norwegian Federation of Film Societies in 1994.
What is your distribution strategy and place today within the Norwegian market?
We aim to be the preferred distribution partner for local productions. We hope to be a small but important player with not too many titles, caring for each and every one of our films. Getting there takes time because we need to get attached to the films really early – At the same time we concentrate on other titles that we feel we can do a good job on. Now that we have just taken over Scanbox’s theatrical activities in Norway, we are the biggest of the small distributors, with around 5% of the local market share.
One of the first titles you released and executive produced was the Norwegian horror film Manhunt. It was followed by the Nazi zombie cult movie Dead Snow [+see also:
film profile]. Would you say that you've opened up a new market for youth-oriented commercial Norwegian films?
We have definitely been part of this new wave from the beginning. The most important is the young people behind these films and we have been lucky having them knocking at our door.
In 2010 You're going to release the European co-production The King of Devil’s Island (Bastøy). Is that a new step for your company into co-financing major Norwegian productions?
No, not really. We simply wanted to be part of a film that we believed had the potential to become a major hit and, hopefully, it will be one of the greatest Norwegian cinematic experiences of 2010.
What else is in your line-up for end of 2009-2010?
We are handling all titles for Scanbox, so we will have several good titles from them, such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs [+see also:
film profile]; I Love You Philip Morris starring Jim Carrey; Annete Sjursen’s Pax; and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising [+see also:
interview: Nicolas Winding Refn
film profile]. We also handle Rob Marshall’s Nine and have three other exciting local titles: Norwegian Ninja, Liverpools Goalie by Arild Andresen and the gangster comedy Tomme Tønner.
What revenues/admissions can a European film expect from the Norwegian market? How important are the television and DVD markets for European films?
We always try to make the most of the theatrical run. All other windows depend greatly upon success in the cinemas. Admissions over 5,000 on a European title are a good start, but success always depends on the P&A budget invested. For the French film I’ve Loved You So Long [+see also:
film profile], we were aiming for 10,000 admissions and are now at 22,000 – which, of course, makes us very happy.
What do you expect from the European Distributors: Up Next! initiative?
I’m looking forward to meeting good people from all over Europe and catching up on their efforts. I want to know what makes them successful in their territory, if we are very different, and if they would be interested in working on Norwegian films.
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